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Academic Writing and Presenting


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA Urban Studies programme.


‘Academic Writing and Presenting’ is a course in university-level writing and presenting. In the writing component, the course covers the stages of composition of an academic essay, such as close reading of sources, summary, citation and reference, identifying rhetorical aspects in a text or flaws in reasoning, developing a thesis, finding and using textual evidence, organising ideas with clarity, signposting an essay, compiling and referencing bibliographic material, avoiding plagiarism, and finally, strategies for revision. In the presenting component the course covers the creation of a presentation, such as structure, delivery, coherence and cohesion, terminology, interaction with one’s audience.

Course objectives

General learning outcomes

See tab Additional information for the overview of the programme's general learning outcomes. In the assessment methods below is outlined which general learning outcome will be tested through which method.

Course objectives, pertaining to this course

  • 1) Students are able to apply and compare knowledge and understanding of at least two themes within Urban Studies.

  • 2) Students can write a nuanced and critical thesis statement or problem question, and can answer this question in the body of their essay, using a logical structure and clear argumentation.

  • 3) Students can use both primary and secondary sources critically, and can find their own niche in a discussion.

  • 4) Students can formulate counter-arguments, and are able to rebut these.

  • 5) Students are aware of the appropriate academic register used in essay writing, and can use this effectively.

  • 6) Students are able to use the Chicago-stylesheet when presenting their written work.

  • 7) Students master close reading techniques and develop the skill to analyse and summarize the main argument of a text in a critical and nuanced manner.

  • 8) Students can conduct library research, gather and assess academic sources, and acknowledge academic work by others by referencing sources in accordance with recognised academic citation protocol.

  • 9) Students have developed a nuanced view on the workings of rhetoric.

  • 10) Students can express themselves orally using the correct register when presenting their research.

  • 11) Students can deliver structured and coherent presentation about an academic research topic.

  • 12) Students can interact with their audience during a presentation.

  • 13) Students can handle questions from the audience during a presentation.

  • 14) Students show intercultural awareness in giving useful peer-feedback and offering constructive criticism.


The timetable is available on the Urban Studies website

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Work group (compulsory attendance)
    This means that students have to attend every work group session of the course. If a student is unable to attend a workgroup, they should inform the lecturer in advance, providing a valid reason for absence. The teacher will determine if and how the missed session can be compensated by an additional assignment. If you are absent from two or more workgroups without a valid reason, you will not be able to complete the course.

Course Load

Total course load for this course is 10 EC (1 EC equals 28 hours), which equals 280 hours, broken down by:

  • Attending lectures: 2

  • Attending work groups: 36

  • Study of compulsory literature: 80

  • Completing assignment(s), preparing for classes and exams: 162

Assessment method


  • Assignment 1: Online Library Tutorial.
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1-2, 4-6, 11, 13, 19, 21-24
    -measured course specific objectives: 2, 4-7

  • Assignment 2: Critical reflection of introductory article, including all relevant references in Chicago format.
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1-2, 4-6, 11, 13, 19, 21-24
    -measured course specific objectives: 2, 4-7

  • Assignment 3: Bullet-point list of arguments for essay, including all relevant references in Chicago format.
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1-2, 4-6, 11, 13, 19, 21-24
    -measured course specific objectives: 2, 4-7

  • Assignment 4: Final essay, also to be uploaded via Turnitin.
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1-2, 4-6, 11, 15, 19-20, 25-26
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-8

  • Assignment 5: Presentation of essay.
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1-2, 11-13, 15, 20, 22-26
    -measured course specific objectives: 9-12


Partial grade Weighing
Work group grade: assignments 1,2 and 3 45
Final essay 35
Presentation 20

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:

  • The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of all assessment components.

  • Please note that if the Final Essay is lower than 5.50, you will not pass the course, regardless of the grade for the other assessment components.


If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), or the Final Essay grade is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of submitting an improved version of the final essay, replacing the previous final essay grade. The deadline for resubmission is 10 days after receiving the grade for the final essay. No resit for the work group grade and presentation is possible.

Faculty regulations concerning participation in resits are listed in article 4.1 of the Faculty Course and Examination Regulations.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organised.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • The time schedule of the course

  • The reading list

  • Powerpoints of the lectures

  • Announcements

  • All other information regarding the course

Reading list

Gordon Harvey, Writing with Sources: A Guide for Students Third Edition, ISBN-13: 978-0872209442.

For this course, study materials include a guide to presenting as well as materials made available via Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. B. O’Donovan
Dr. E. Dutton